Those are my measurements. I’m ok with them.
But it’s taken me my entire life to be ok with them, and even then, on a lot of days I’m not ok with them at all.
I just want to vent for one second to just try and describe how utterly difficult it is to be my size and model nude.
On a daily…
I want to share this, because as a hobbyist photographer, I am always asking my friends to pose for me, and it is a small few of them who ever agree to it. They lack the confidence to let themselves be vulnerable in front of a camera, a tool that has the power to capture what they fear are their flaws.
Many of them say something along the lines of, “Ask me again when I’ve lost the 20 pounds I’m about to get started on losing!”
When I approach someone, though, and ask them to pose for me, it’s because I want to capture what they look like now, because I, at least, see them as beautiful today, at this second.
How could I be anything but impatient that they can’t just be as confident as I am about their appearance, right now, without making big changes?
I’ve been around people who were uncomfortable with their appearance for most of my life. I’ve had girlfriends and close friends who suffered from eating disorders, body dysmorphia, and just a general feeling of shame or anxiety about their bodies. I know well enough that nobody is going to snap their fingers and just have the confidence to model. It takes a lot of strength, and fighting yourself - or at least, some impulsiveness.
This is one of the reasons I got into shooting portraits, though. I started with my first serious girlfriend, who lacked confidence in her appearance. We made a habit of it, and eventually, I think her confidence increased because she could see, that I was doing my best to capture her the way I saw her. (And maybe I’m just an awesome and supportive guy, in general).
These days, when I ask someone to model for me, it’s because I already think they’re beautiful. I just want to catch that lightning in a bottle - the essence of who they are right now - and show it to them; show it to everyone.
Anyway, I think I got a bit off point.
Not every model - nude, clothed, freelance, or professional - has a buttload of body confidence. Modelling, for some, is an exercise in being vulnerable, and betting on the results. A photographer has the responsibility to be respectful of that vulnerability both in terms of body image and body security.
I think Nicole (who posted the thing I’m tangentially rambling about) is a beautiful woman. I didn’t know her before she started modelling, but I’m sure she always was a beautiful woman. Beauty isn’t a thing that depends on what shape your body is. It’s the distillation of who you are, and how you express it. A body is just the medium through which that beauty is conveyed, it is not the beauty in and of itself.